By definition, collaborative work can happen due to digital tools. What really matters it’s the intention to collaborate and work together. A small team, well motivated and united could certainly work without digital tools.
What does it need? A place, a whiteboard, post-its, some pens and here it goes!
Distance leads people to collaborate?
Nowadays with the wide variety of groupware tools, the question is to know if we can be more efficient adopting this kind of tools? Certainly, as Serge K. Levan recalls in his book Travail collaboratif sur internet : concepts et pratiques des plateaux projet, the tool can fill gaps related to distance. It is still necessary to establish an organization that is suited to work remotely. Indeed, this one imposes constraints to the management and the execution of business practices. Also when the question is to know how to make work a team in a collaborative mode, is the distance finally the biggest problem? It seems that success is mainly due to the composition of the team and its capacity to work together and thus the quality of its practices. The complexity and uncertainty of situations are factors supporting the development of collaborative practices. The remote work that in some cases naturally push people to collaborate, is often seen as an additional difficulty to manage. Collaborative work is an organization that requires the institution of trust. If this one is not shared, the use of a variety of digital tools will not be able to replace the collaborative practice.
The project mode, an archetype of a collaborative situation
Remote working is determined by the communication devices. As soon as there is some distance, even a small one, it is necessary to find “communication prostheses”1. Is the level of collaborative practices the one that will ensure the value of the tools and ultimately “ensure the operational performance of individuals and groups”.
Collaborative tools allow to support collaborative communication, to structure and to build collaborative practices. It is especially in the heart of project management that we find these practices. Project mode is a work organization intending to supplant the routine. It is based on the alignment of individual and collective skills. This mode allows to solve many problems in the work environment, but it cannot solve everything. In addition, in its collaborative dimension, it requires the actors to develop appropriate organizational and communicational postures.
Once again, the 2.0 is not a matter of tools. It is above the whole ability of a group to coordinate independently. Only based on this force it will be able to take full advantage of the digital tools at its disposal.
English Translation by Paula Andrea Gómez Gutiérrez (web marketing – Advanseez)
Photo Source : From Unsplash By S.Zolkin